• Ask DJ graphic

    DJ is more than just a pretty face – he’s also the smartest dog we know. 

    Do you have a burning question for DJ? Do you need advice on a school matter? Or are you just curious about something you’d like to know?  Ask DJ! 

    Click the button below to ask a question. Questions should be limited to 200 words. Be sure to let us know how you would like your name displayed if your email is selected (examples: “Fornlorn in Ft. Caroline” or “LaVilla Dance Grl” or “Bored in Baldwin”). Then check in each day to see if your question to DJ has been answered. You can also check in to see what your classmates have submitted. 

    Remember that you are using your DCPS email. Feel free to be serious, curious, mysterious, or even hilarious, but all questions must be courteous.


    Click here to ask DJ

You ask! DJ answers!

  • Dog-gone Smart!

    Posted by D.J. on 4/27/2020

    Dear D.J.,


    How do you talk?  You are a dog!  But anyways, how do I get a dog????



    Desperate for a Dog


    Dear Desperate,


    Of course dogs can talk!  Overall, dogs have superior intellect, and most dogs are bilingual.  Our first language is Caninese (pronounced KAY-NINE-EEZ), the official language of dogs.  In addition, most dogs in the United States understand English, even if they are not fluent conversationalists.  Believe me, if you shout, “Come!” to a dog and he doesn’t respond, it is not because Fido doesn’t understand you.  It might be that the dog just doesn’t appreciate being summoned without some form of common courtesy.  You don’t need to be Miss Manners to know that you should say “please” and “thank you” once in a while.  What should REALLY amaze you is that I can write, especially since dogs don’t have opposable thumbs.  I have to use an extra-large keyboard to accommodate my paws.  And don’t make me explain how I hit CONTROL-ALT-DELETE all at the same time – it’s not pretty!


    Now to your last question – how do you get a dog?  There are many, many dogs out there looking for a great home.  The trick is to appeal to your parental unit, and there has never been a better time to ask. Your parents are already feeling pretty bad that you are stuck at home doing classwork on the computer all day, so leverage that.  It has been my experience that moms are sometimes easier than dads to start with, but every family is different. 


    Start by dropping subtle hints like, “Gee, it sure would be nice to have a puppy to play with now.”  Ask questions to encourage conversation, “Dad, did you have a pet when you were growing up?” to get them reminiscing about the fond times with their beloved pet.  Don’t whine, shout, or eat your parent’s best shoe if they don’t initially agree – those tricks never work and are likely to put you in the doghouse.  If the answer is no, be cool and say you are disappointed but you understand.  Sometimes parents soften over time.  It also wouldn’t hurt if you happened to have adorable pictures of puppies as your screensaver or they caught you flipping through your local humane society website, either.


    If you happen to get them to agree to a new pet, I hope you will seriously consider your local humane society or pet rescue service first.  There are lots of pets longing for a good home and a great kid like you.  One additional suggestion – many pet adoption facilities need foster families or families willing to host a two-day “Stay-Cation” for an older pet.  These families agree to take care of pets that are very young and need specialized attention, or older pets that just need a few days away from the facility.  This is a great way to find out if a pet is a good fit for your family.  Some foster pets are even available for adoption.


    Thanks for the great questions and good luck!


    Best wishes,



    Comments (-1)
  • Mario-velous Question!

    Posted by D.J. on 4/22/2020

    Dear D.J, 


    What is your best advice that you can give to a student when they are having a tough time during the pandemic?




    Dear DJ


    Dear Yoshi,


    I’m not sure how Super Mario Dinosaurs handle stress, but it is perfectly normal for you to feel like a Tyranosaurus-wreck during this pandemic! However, it really depends on what you consider to be a tough time. As a dog, sometimes I don’t feel like myself, I don’t want to play, hang out with friends, do those things I once enjoyed, so this pandemic has been tough for me, too. 


    The Florida Department of Health has some great tips for coping with stress:

    1. Develop a New Attitude:

    • Become a problem solver – figure out which things are causing you stress
    • Be flexible – learn to meet people halfway
    • Get organized – start a “to-do” list – crossing things off your list provides a great sense of accomplishment
    • Set limits – there is only so much you can do in one day!

    2. Relax:

    • Take deep breaths – breathing helps calm both your body and your mind
    • Stretch – standing and stretching at regular intervals helps alleviate stress
    • Massage tense muscles – sitting at a computer too long can really make you dino-sore!
    • Take time to do something you like – games, outdoor activities, reading – whatever takes your mind off the present situation

    3. Take Care of Your Body:

    • Get enough sleep – being well rested helps you handle problems more constructively
    • Eat right – your body needs fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein to function correctly
    • Get moving – exercise improves both your health and your mood
    • Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways – make sure you are not picking up any bad habits

    4. Connect with others:

    • Share your stress – don’t “koopas” your feelings - talk with your parents, a trusted adult, or call a friend
    • Get help from a professional, if needed – our Full Service Schools counselors are available by phone
    • Help others – volunteering to help around the house or e-tutor someone else helps to elevate your mood

    (Source:  http://www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/stress/index.html#heading_6)


    As always, if you find that you or a friend is having a tough time during this pandemic, your school counselor is always available to you.  In addition, we still have mental health therapists on staff ready to assist.  And don’t forget – our Full Service Schools are another great resource (https://unitedwaynefl.org/our-work/good-health-and-well-being/full-service-schools/).  They are still taking referrals and supporting students. 


    You also have a great group of teachers and administrators that are there for you if you need them.  They care about you and your friends and want to make sure you have all the support you need. You can also contact Mrs. Katrina Taylor, our Director of Behavioral Health, if you need additional strategies for coping.


    Most of all, know that you are not alone, what you are feeling is normal and expected, and we will get through this together. 


    Stay well,




    Comments (-1)
  • Getting Back to Normal?

    Posted by D.J. on 4/17/2020

    Dear D.J.,


    When are we going back to school?



    Hopeful High Schooler



    On Saturday, April 18, Governor DeSantis announced that schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year, continuing online learning for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year.  You can read more about the announcement at the following link:



    Dear Hopeful,


    This is the most frequent question I get asked.  When Duval HomeRoom started, it was new and exciting, even if it was a bit scary at the time.  After almost four weeks, the newness has worn off, and the thrill of staying in our pajamas all day long isn't so thrilling anymore.   After multiple trips per hour, we have finally realized that nothing is going to magically appear in the refrigerator.  And "Family Time" has been taken to a whole new level.  The bottom line is that we all miss our friends and teachers. 


    The only answer I have right now is that we will go back to school as soon as it is safe to do so.  Superintendent Greene has a responsibility to keep both the students and employees safe during this pandemic, and she takes this responsibility very seriously.  


    In the meantime, the best thing you can do to ensure we get back to school quickly is follow the guidelines that have been provided.  Stay home, wash your hands frequently, wear a mask on your face when around others. 


    On a positive note, this has also been a time for great civic engagement.  All across the country, young people have stepped up in a number of ways, such as running errands for neighbors or teaching not-so-tech-savvy relatives how to access digital communication devices.  You and your peers are making a real difference.     So thank you for doing your part to help get our community up and running.  You can be sure that we will be back in school as soon as we can.




    Comments (-1)
  • The Great Club Caper

    Posted by D.J. on 4/16/2020

    Hey DJ,


    My teacher said that the newspaper club was cancelled. This made me wonder: are all the other clubs closed?



    Worried Wagon


    Dear Worried Wagon,


    I did a little “digging” (one of my favorite pastimes!) to find examples of clubs that are still up and running for you.  Many clubs require students to be physically present; however, I have seen some really innovative ways that students and teachers have been connecting through Duval HomeRoom.  For example, there are a number of schools that still produce a morning news program each day.   Englewood High School and Duval Virtual are two examples of schools that have club “meetings” using an online platform. 


    Our Teams site provides opportunities for students and teachers to collaborate on projects.  An e-version of a school newspaper might be a fun way to engage with your classmates and find out what is happening while everyone is socially distancing.  Check with your principal to see if it is possible at your school.  While online clubs may be a little different, they are still possible. 




    Comments (-1)
  • Escuela Por Favor

    Posted by D.J. on 4/16/2020

    Estimado D.J.,


    Las escuelas van a estar ceradas asta el otro año?



    Encerrado en casa


    Querido Estudiante,


    No lo sabemos todavia.  El gobernador parece tener la esperanza de que podamos regresar.  Si regresamos, probablemente habrá cambios.  Si fuera posible regresar, la situación sería muy diferente porque aún tendríamos que practicar distanciamiento social y hábitos seguros.  Te extrañamos y esperamos que estés a salvo.



    D.J. el Perro

    Comments (-1)
  • Stuck Inside and Stressed Out

    Posted by D.J. on 4/13/2020

    Dear D.J.


    Staying at home is stressful!



    Stressed Out


    Dear Stressed,


    You are absolutely right – staying at home can be VERY stressful!  As a dog, I was made to run, play, and be free, so staying home is stressful for me, too. 


    In addition to tips for avoiding getting sick, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also have some great tips for coping with stress:

    1. Periodically take a break from the news – Sometimes the news can be doggone depressing!
    2. Eat healthy meals – I love an occasional Scooby Snack, too, but how you eat influences how you feel.  I find that too many treats makes me a little husky.
    3. Limit screen time:  Push away from your computer and do some stretches or breathing exercises.  I am personally into yoga and nobody does a downward facing dog or puppy pose better than me!
    4. Get outside and move – This is paws-itively the best way to raise your spirits!  Fresh air, sunshine, and play are great ways to relieve stress.
    5. Find fun activities to do – Board games, reading just for fun, and puzzles can take your mind off a stressful situation. My personal favorite it a good game of fetch!
    6. Phone a friend – Sometimes the best way to beat the blues is to reach out to a friend.  I find that barking through the fence to my good friend Bella works for me, but you might just want to use the phone.

    (Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html)


    As always, if you find that you are having difficulty coping with the stress, your school counselor is always available to you.  In addition, we still have mental health therapists on staff ready to assist.  And don’t forget – our Full Service Schools are another great resource (https://unitedwaynefl.org/our-work/good-health-and-well-being/full-service-schools/).  They are still taking referrals and supporting students. 


    I f you need immediate help, you can always contact Ms. Katrina Taylor, our Director of Behavioral Health l, if you need additional support.  Most of all, know that you are not alone, what you are feeling is normal and expected, and we will get through this together. 


    Stay well,


    Comments (-1)
  • School Choice Lottery Update

    Posted by D.J. on 4/10/2020


    To Romana, Maddie, Madison, and everyone who has written in to ask about the School Choice Lottery -

    The lottery has just finished running and everyone who applied for a school choice program in the On-Time Lottery should have received their notices yesterday.  Check the parent portal to find out your status!

    School Choice will begin accepting late applications beginning April 15th. If you have a question or concern about the late application online process, please email School_Choice@duvalschools.org.   

    Comments (-1)
  • Coworker Cat-astrophe

    Posted by D.J. on 4/9/2020

    Dear DJ,


    My problem is that my coworker is lazy and distracting. This is a picture of her lying on my desk right after she knocked my pen to the floor. I can't work like this!


     Teacher Catty Coworker



    Mrs. Harbin


    Dear Mrs. Harbin,


    Coronavirus and working from home make strange “officefellows” for sure, but that certainly is one strange-looking (and unhelpful) intern!  It has been my experience that cats have annoying habits, like leaving unpleasant surprises at the front door, shredding the furniture, and playing the piano at all hours of the night.  And if someone sends me one more “cute cat video” I think I just might hack up a hairball!  Oh, wait - dogs don’t do disgusting things like that!  Have you considered getting a dog?  No, you say? Then read on...


    Before you put “Miss Kitty” on a success plan or note her bad “cattitude” on her next performance evaluation, I would like to share that working alongside your pet may have several benefits.  According to the CDC, pets help reduce stress, encourage activity, and decrease negative health effects such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels (https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html).  So the next time your office mate starts acting up, I suggest you take a “paws” from your computer screen and spend some time with your pet.   Your home office should begin running purrrrfectly in no time at all!


    Best wishes,

    D.J. (the dog)


    Comments (-1)
  • Ode to Tech Support

    Posted by D.J. on 4/9/2020

    Dear D.J.,

    I can't get logged into my school work!

    Signed, Media Sage


    Dear Khloe,

    The Tech Support Number is 904-348-5200.  My understanding is that wait times are fairly short right now.  If you want the phone number forever imprinted into your brain, check out this YouTube video created by Mrs. Pendry at John E. Ford K-8:


    Ode to Tech Support

    Ode to Tech Support - Mrs. Pendry


    Best wishes, 



    Comments (-1)
  • Doggone Delicious!

    Posted by D.J. on 4/8/2020

    Dear D.J.,

    What is your favorite treat?


    Ms. Mauger's Class


    Dear Ms. Mauger and Twin Lakes Wildcats,

    Thank you for this paws-itively great question!  Contrary to pup-ular belief, dogs actually have quite a discerning palate.  Here are my top five favs:

    1. Pupperoni Pizza
    2. Bark-B-Q (especially the bones!)
    3. Pupsicles
    4. Woofles and Chicken
    5. Glazed doughmutts

    Bon A-Pet-Treat!


    P.S.  If I’m not in a hurry, I also love a big spoonful of peanut butter, because you can enjoy it for a long, long time!

    Paw Print

    Comments (-1)